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MPC voted 8-1 to maintain base rate at 5%

Eight members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted in favour of maintaining bank rate at 5 per cent this month.

The minutes of this month’s meeting reveal that only David Blanchflower voted against the proposition, preferring a reduction of 25 basis points.

Most members felt that a reduction in bank rate this month would make it more difficult to keep inflation expectations in line with the target.

CPI inflation was already at 3 per cent and the Committee expected it to rise further in the near term.

The minutes show that although economic activity was likely to slow, the
Committee had judged that some slowing in the growth rate of output was likely to be necessary for inflation to settle close to the target around two years ahead.

It said: “A further reduction in Bank Rate this month could create the impression that the Committee was trying to stabilise output growth rather than
maintaining its focus on the inflation target.”

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